Uchida/LSO/Davis – review

Sir Colin Davis's cycle of Nielsen symphonies with the LSO has not been a hurried affair. Yet if performances over the last couple of years of the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies (released on CD earlier this year), together with the latest instalment – of his sixth and strangest essay in the genre – are anything to go by, the cycle's completion over three concerts this autumn will be among the forthcoming season's hotter tickets.

The key to Davis's success with Nielsen's sometimes bewildering music is that he does not seek to impose himself on it too much. Rather, the emphasis is on getting the detail as clear as possible and allowing the overall shape to emerge naturally. By concentrating on fine-tuning Nielsen's oddly turned phrasing, and structuring the often magnificently layered textures, this performance revealed the Sixth Symphony to be significantly more than the sum of its apparently self-contradictory parts....

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